Review of the key characteristics that determine the efficacy of OHS instruments: Report to the Minister of Labour
Appendix 2 – Principles for Selecting OHS Instruments in Victoria
Principles Relating to Compliance codes
WorkSafe will make recommendations to the Minister about making Compliance Codes to provide duty holders with clarity and certainty about what a duty holder may do to comply with key duties under the Act or the regulations.
WorkSafe will use Compliance Codes as the primary vehicle for communicating compliance information where there are known and effective means of achieving compliance. In other cases, WorkSafe will use OHS Practice Notes (see below). Given that the regulations will no longer duplicate provisions of the Act, Compliance Codes will play an important role of integrating the provisions of the Act and regulations to provide comprehensive practical guidance on compliance. Compliance Code proposals may include background, contextual information and general advice as well as specific guidance on how to comply with specific duties.
The guidance in a Compliance Code is not mandatory. A duty holder may adopt other appropriate and effective means of achieving compliance. Where appropriate, Compliance Code proposals may incorporate or adopt, by reference, documents produced by reputable standards setting bodies.
WorkSafe will issue Guidelines where it is necessary to provide certainty and transparency about WorkSafe’s interpretation or administration of OHS law and the way it makes decisions.
WorkSafe will continue to publish general and targeted information to promote OHS and build knowledge and awareness on OHS. WorkSafe will issue two types of information for this purpose – alerts and OHS Practice Notes.
Alerts provide brief descriptions of a work practice or thing that has been shown to be particularly hazardous and which needs immediate remedial action by duty holders. Alerts will be short (no more than 2 A4 pages and a single page is preferred). More specific and detailed guidance on the issue may be produced subsequently in a Compliance Code.
OHS Practice Notes
WorkSafe will also issue OHS Practice Notes on matters such as:
- The Act and the regulations;
- The nature and characteristics of particular hazards and risks;
- Techniques for understanding and dealing with risks to OHS;
- Encouraging the implementation of optimum strategies for improving OHS performance (for example information about good management practice or describing ‘state of the art’ technical solutions) while recognising that not all duty holders will be able to or be expected to achieve such standards or outcomes;
- Useful reference guides to accessing the range of information available on a particular hazard or risk; and
- OHS performance data.